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Pojo's Dreamblade Mini of the Day

Prince of Blades
Image from Wizards.com

Prince of Blades

Reviewed March 15, 2007

Constructed: 2.50
Sealed: 2.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

The two figures this week seem to be very tough to make modifications for. Oh well.

Prince Of Blades. The second '--Of Blades' figure in Fear. And seeing how his name depicts a higher hierarchy. One would assume he is better. Correct?
Spawn Cost: 5 F
Power: 2
Defense: 4
Life: 7
: Death Cycle — Destroy target local creature with spawn cost . That creature's controller may put a creature with spawn cost or less from his or her reserves into the local cell. When the creature is placed, ignore the stacking limit.

For starters, the differences between him and Jack of Blades is rarity. We go from JoB's common figure goodness, and then ramp it up to PoB's rare status.
Both have the EXACT same stats and spawn cost. Except Jack Of Blades rolls one MORE die and both have COMPLETELY different abilities.
Here's the kicker though: Death cycle.

It seems that in each set, there is one figure in the set that disrupts the opponents reserves. Base set had Night Queen, Baxar's War has Mangler. Chrysotic Plague has this guy.
It'a also interesting to note that this guy is one of 2 figures in 'Plague that INSTANTLY KILLS figures on 2 blades (Medusa being the other one). However, you get to choose what dies here, as opposed to Medusas PETRIFY (which allows the opponent to choose).
The kicker is that the player who's creature got killed due to Deathcycle can choose a creature of that spawn cost or less and throw it into that cell.
Yes, you can kill your own creatures, read the ability again and come back to this point. I'll get into that later.

I can see this being good with a bunch of other creatures and rolling a TON of damage and AT LEAST the 2 blades for Deathcycle to connect. In that case, the opponent may not want to throw another creature in the cell (since the blade ability happens first, and then you get to apply damage, ensuring that whatever would jump into that cell, would surely die).

Keep in mind, THIS IS NOT a 'MAY' ability, meaning of this is the only creature in a cell that you are fighting with that has blade abilities, if you rolls 2 blades. Deathcycle MUST BE USED.

Here's some interesting things you can do with Deathcycle, regarding your own pieces. Since you can kill off your own pieces with this ability:

Bloodcut Behemoth: His ability states it can make a deathblow whenever it dies. He rolls 7 dice, not too bad. You can Deathcycle him, and bring in something else that's 10 spawn or less and you get to roll your 7 dice deathblow.
Ghost Of The Key: Here's where things get goofy. GotK says (the abbreviated version)' when it attacks, nothing dies this combat'. If you Deathcycle Ghost Of The Key, she won't die from her ability. But the second part of Deathcycle WILL RESOLVE (That creature's controller may put a creature with spawn cost or less from his or her reserves into the local cell. When the creature is placed, ignore the stacking limit.)!!! Meaning you can drop a 7 spawn or less creature and stack 5 of your creatures into the same cell!!
However, once they move out of that cell, stacking limit applies once again.
It's one of those goofy rulings, but it makes sense if you can think outside of the normal stacking limit rules (no more than 4 of your creatures in a cell).
I'm not sure on what the ruling would be if you or the opponent threw a Buzzclaw into play VIA Deathcycle, it would be worth asking as I don't know the answer off the top of my head. But if it could work, it would rock!

It's a goofy creature. I saw one used at the New York 10K, but it never saw play. You can definitely do some interesting things with it. But it's stats hurt it's playability. It's a bit like Stag Zealot in the sense that it's reliant on other figures to be able to roll the blades it needs to work. I'm not exactly a fan of creatures that have dependency issues as far as attack power is concerned. If we're comparing red apples to green apples; I like Medusa better for being a creature with an instant death ability. She rolls 3 dice, and rolling 2 blades on 3 dice isn't as farfetched as 2 blades on 2 dice.
But if you're a combo player, this piece is a definate winner for you.

I would give the figure a 2/5 as far as competitive play is concerned.
I would give him a 3/5 for interesting mechanics and fun playability.

-- Mod-Log

P.S. I'm relatively new at reviewing figures, if I'm doing anything wrong, post something in the Pojo Dreamblade forum and I'll jump on it.
Chen Wan Lee Prince of Blades

Today’s miniature is the Prince of Blades, a Chrysotic Plague Fear rare.
Many would know it for its similarities name-wise with Jack of Blades, a common from the base set. Ironically, the Prince is similar to the Jack of Blades in both cost and stats, except for a minor little point; he lacks one attack. That puts it right at the bottom of the 5-cost Fear choices in terms of stats, right along with Genteel Husk, that has one more defense but one less life, along with an extra two Aspect costs.

So, with rather poor stats, he needs to have a deadly, game turning effect, right? Good news is, yes he does. The problem is, it’s situational. First of, it is a double blade. Considering how the Prince only has two attack, you WILL need an ally (or three) with good attack values. So that’s problem number one; he effectively has the ability “Follower”, something shared by a far bigger piece at the same cost, Pale Horse. It is not literally as restrictive as Follower, but seriously, this is one piece you do not want to send in alone, unless you desperately need cannon fodder.

So let us say his ability did trigger. Then you get the nifty ability of being able to destroy something and spawn something equally, or less powerful. Imagine your opponent has two Dreadmorph Ogres, one in play, one in reserve. You destroy one, and lure out the other. Effectively, this becomes a Purge. Let us put this into perspective: Night Queen costs 1 generic and 2 aspect points more, has 1 more attack, 2 more and life, and Purge is also a double blade. Sounds like a fair trade.

But there is more. Imagine if it is in the late game, and your opponent has depleted most of his miniatures. However, he still has his big, ugly Ragedrake out. The closest thing he has to the Ragedrake in his reserves point-wise is, say, a Bloodthirsty Redcap. I’m pretty sure you do not need me to mention the sheer devastation this effect would cause. In a real game I doubt you would come across such an ideal situation, but basically swapping a bigger creature for something smaller is in itself devastating, especially when the bigger creature is forced into the graveyard.

To summarize, the Prince has a significantly powerful ability, but paired with a rather sub-par body for its cost. It does not see much play, but I won’t be surprised to see a couple played around here and there for casual games, at the very least. To fully utilize him, you need to find a way to reliably give him that double Blade – Fear/Passion, anyone?

Constructed: 3/5. Average: not fantastic, not terrible, and definitely playable.
Sealed: 2/5. I’m unsure about this. If you have a good selection of Passion figures then you could try. Its good to note that as far as Chrysotic Plague goes, this is the only 5-drop Fear miniature in the set, so you may want to consider that.

Art: 3/5. I’m not a fan of demons, but I give them credit for at least making it look slightly freaky.
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